The swirling blue brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s famous painting served as the backdrop for “A Starry Night,” the Jefferson Dollars for Scholars (JDFS) 19th annual “Golden Tassel Gala” on Friday, September 21, at Metarie’s Pontchartain Center.

The 610 Stompers started the party at the evening’s gala with their famous routine before surrendering the floor to the spirited Deacon John and the Ivories. Boudreaux, the Zephyr’s nutria mascot, was on hand to boogie down with the crowd.

Gala chair Patricia Besselman honored four alumni of the JDFS scholarship: LaToya Bailey, Chanelle Batiste, Gina Cavalier-Rosa and Julie Finkelstein. A video detailing the women’s success stories greeted patrons as they entered the gala.

The silent auction boasted over 150 items, including the electric guitar that Deacon John played to rouse the crowd. After John strummed and autographed it, the instrument fetched a cool $1,200. An all-inclusive vacation package to Sonoma County, Calif., for wine tastings and “Snoopy on Ice” were the other top sellers.

“This is the best fundraiser we’ve done so far,” said May Wen, JDFS Development and Communications Manager, of the $50,000 raised on Friday night.

The organization has provided scholarships and educational programs to more than 4,500 Jefferson Parish Public School students since 1993.


Event at a Glance
What:  “A Starry Night,” the 19th annual “Golden Tassel Gala,” benefiting Jefferson Dollars for Scholars
When: Friday, September 21
Where: Pontchartain Center